Sondra Bernstein, owner of “the girl & the fig” restaurant in Sonoma, hosts this weekly podcast along with her friend Brian Casey, veteran of the Hospitality industry for over 30 years. They discuss all aspects of the food world, from seeds and beans to fries and foie gras. “If you can eat it, we want to talk about it”. Guests include famous chefs, food critics, local farmers, cheese makers and mushroom foragers. No subject is “off the table”. Sometimes controversial but always delicious.
The Bite Goes On – Put A Bow On It
Sondra + Brian Welcome to The Bite Goes On wrap-up show and get ready for a long one. Before we go on a hiatus of an unyet determined amount of time, Brian and I wanted to revisit and share some of the episodes and the highlights of the past two years. Though we don’t get to talk about every single one (lucky for you), it was joyful to go back and reminisce about the incredible guests that we have met during this time. We have learned so much and have gratefully had the chance to listen to many passionate, inspiring stories from these guests. This past year, Covid has added another dimension to the show and that was sometimes just a check in or a deep dive into the perseverance and strategies of guests moving forward to get to the other side of the pandemic. As we arrive in 2021 we anticipate life changing in so many different areas and as we watch the world mend itself, we have decided to take a break. One thing we know for sure, the conversations are endless. Food is central to all of our lives one way or another and that will never change. The Bite Goes On has been a passion project for both Brian and I and we appreciate all of our listeners so much. Feel free to drop us a line and let us know if we should keep going and if so what were your favorite episodes. [EP115]
Also: listen to Brian’s other podcast The WineMakers at https://radiomisfits.com/podcasts/thewinemakers/ and follow him on Instagram at @winemakerspod and @sonomawinelover and follow Sondra’s personal Instagram @figchronicles.
The Bite Goes On – Amy Reiley, Eat Something Sexy
It’s not often that you get to have a conversation with someone who has a Masters in Gastronomy with a focus on aphrodisiacs. Amy Reiley is exactly that. I first met Amy years ago when her first book, fork me, spoon me was released. As a book about aphrodisiac foods, she of course had a chapter on figs that we were happy to contribute our fig scone recipe to – that she lovingly renamed “morning after fig scones with fresh cream”. Catching up over ten years later in the midst of covid it’s not as easy to be thinking about all of the foods that seduce you. Even so, her blog turned website, Eat Something Sexy has been going on for years. It is full of recipes, anecdotes and a full on dictionary of aphrodisiac foods which we all need to know where to find. Her other books include, Eat Cake Naked and Romancing the Stove.
Her latest endeavor, something she is particularly proud of and rightly so, is her work with Rock & Wrap It. This is a non profit that calls itself an anti-poverty think tank and most importantly is finding potential donors that have renewable assets to share, especially food. In their 20th year, they have continued to recover food from TV and FIlm production sets. They work with the big corporations including Sony, Disney, Netflix, ABC … to recover prepared but not served excess food from entertainment catering companies and forward it on to people in need. They are also working with legislators pushing education and the Bill Emerson Samaritan Act keeping donors safe from liability. Their food initiatives go much further than just the entertainment sector and have moved into hospitals, schools, sports and more. [EP114]
The Bite Goes On – Jonathan Beard
It is always curious how some of our guests end up in the culinary world when their academia was meant to take them elsewhere. This is how our conversation with Chef Jonathan Beard started and continued about his journey from being a successful restaurateur/chef in Sonoma County, to eventually trading it in for a more realistic schedule that would allow him to be around for his family with young kids. His first position took him to the Sonoma Juvenile Detention program teaching cooking and life skills to the girls living there and then to landing his ‘dream’ job as the Culinary Director/Instructor at the Sonoma Valley High School. Prior to opening his first restaurant, he worked for some reputable Bay area spots including Acme Bakery, Bay Wolf and Kermit Lynch.
We reminisced about our own home economic classes in our earlier middle school years and compared to what it would be like today. With Covid, the high school has also made their pivot to online learning which couldn’t be less practical than with trying to teach cooking. Jonathan continues to adapt with his students and is waiting until they can all be in his newly designed kitchens at the high school. [EP113]
The Bite Goes On – Manon Servouse
Manon Servouse is the Marketing Director for Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese, St Benoit Creamery and Rians. She is the right person for the job as her passion for her company’s products is impressive not only in her personal praise, but in the depth of her knowledge. Originally from france she has always known that she wanted to be in marketing and she started with United Biscuits. Wanting to branch out to something with more flavor (pun intended) she started working for Rians the parent company of Laura Chenel. After 2 years working in the France offices, she was willingly transferred to California
It was great catching up with Manon to hear about the start of the company with the actual Laura Chenel forty years ago. We talked about the love of goats and goat milk, their state of the art creamery in Sonoma – (the first leed gold certification in the USA), how they are dealing with covid and of course cheese!!!
the girl & the fig has used the Laura Chenel Chevre in their signature salad since 1997 and appreciates the consistency of the product and the care that goes into making it.
To learn more, visit the website at www.laurachenel.com
@laurachenel on Instagram & Facebook
The Bite Goes On – Otto Szilagyi, Tsar Nicoulai Caviar
With New Years right around the corner, it is only appropriate to talk about caviar. Otto Szilagyi, caviar ambassador extraordinaire for Tsar Nicoulai has the details we need to know. Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to taste a few of his products and this conversation definitely put some things in perspective. Most impressionable about Tsar Nicoulai is their approach to their vision which is to provide the cleanest and best caviar and seafood products while inspiring the continued growth of their farm’s environmental and sustainable stewardship. Since their beginning in 1984 in California, they have been committed to environmental practices.Their innovative production practices are rooted in California ethos and keep them on the forefront of technological advances for sustainable farming. It was fascinating to talk about all things sturgeon with Otto. We dance about the topics of their practices, how they determine the grade, the history of caviar’s luxurious beginnings and so much more. If you are listening today, you can purchase their products online. [EP111]
The Bite Goes On – Amy Sherman
Amy Sherman is a Longtime award-winning blogger, and food writer that has written for just about every food publication worth reading and other puclications. she is very highly regarding in the food world and pretty much knows everyone. In addition to her blog; cooking with Amy, Her current chapter is as the Editor in Chief of the relatively new ‘The Cheese Professor’ and the very recently introduced ‘The Alcohol Professor.’
She learned to cook and bake from her parents and grew up eating eggs from her family’s backyard chickens, salmon her father caught, and fruit and vegetables from her mother’s organic garden. While just a teenager, Amy developed an even deeper appreciation for sharing stories about food while working in a gourmet retail shop. She learned about cheese during a year abroad, living and studying in Italy, and on trips to France, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden (ask her about coffee cheese!), as well as Wisconsin and Northern California. She has been a speaker at many professional culinary, writing and blogging conferences, is a past board member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is currently on the board of Bay Area Travel Writers. [EP110]
Thoroughly enjoy your show and your guests. You’ve made this pandemic a bit easier to handle. Best to you both and hope you enjoy your rest. Look forward to you coming back but if not, thanks again.
Love learning about all of these folks.
Interesting takes on the goings on around Sonoma.
I really enjoy the podcast, keep up the good work. We look forward to our next visit, especially since you have given us a lot of new ideas to experience!